While performing together at the 2004 Super Bowl, Timberlake ripped off part of Jackson’s top, accidentally exposing one of her nipple shield-adorned breasts to the event’s 90 million viewers during the live broadcast. from CBS. The two singers apologized for the incident, which Timberlake called a “wardrobe malfunction.” Jackson’s rep said at the time that the exposure “was not intentional” and that Timberlake was supposed to remove the bustier and leave a “red lace bra.”
But TV executives have always blamed Jackson for the incident, which sparked more than 500,000 complaints and sparked an FCC investigation and indecency fines which were later overturned. The controversy also threatened to derail his career, as MTV and US radio stations reportedly blacklisted Jackson’s music videos for a while.
In 2006, at Oprah Winfrey’s request if she felt Timberlake had failed to adequately defend her after the Super Bowl incident, Jackson replied, “To some extent, yes. “